Bedir Akbulut dons a suit and a colorful tie and heads out for a stroll in his village. The 70-year-old has been wearing and collecting ties, an unusual attire for a villager, since childhood. Today, he has 1,500 ties that take up an entire room.
Akbulut, who lives in Bedir Bey (literally Mr. Bedir) hamlet in Gürpınar, a district of the eastern Turkish province of Van, never removes his tie. He wears one even when he is tending to his livestock or sitting at home. He proudly displays his collection of ties, which includes a variety of colors and patterns, in a sparsely decorated room.
The father of four traces back his passion to his childhood when he was only 7 years old. He cherished all the ties he received as presents as a boy and still has them.
“I liked it very much and over the years, I kept wearing a tie. Now, I never step out without wearing my tie and I love wearing it at home as well,” he told Anadolu Agency (AA) Friday.
His passion for ties became well-known in the village and his guests, knowing his fondness of it, started gifting him the accessory. “Governors, mayors, prosecutors, politicians visiting (the hamlet) always give me ties. Now, I have 1,500 and I wear a different tie every day,” he says.
As ties cannot be worn without suits, Akbulut also maintains a relatively smaller collection of about 100 suits. “I don't have more space to store them and had to dedicate a room entirely to my ties,” he says.
Murat Tunç, a local, says “uncle Bedir” is “a colorful, beautiful man.” “Everybody likes him here. We have never seen him without a tie. He also always smiles and gives off positive energy. We need more people like him,” he said.